Dating and new relationships can be complicated, but appropriately integrating children into a new relationship is even more of a challenge. From what I have observed, most people introduce the children to their dating partners far too soon after the new relationship begins.
Whether this is because a primary parent does not have sufficient free time to date when the children are with the other parent, or it occurs because of the loneliness that many of us feel as single parents, kids usually get involved with their parents’ new partners way too soon.
Children bond easily, and may fantasize that the parent will marry the new partner.
After all, this is the model of relationship that the child knew before the divorce.
As a result, children can sometimes feel neglected and jealousy may arise.
Another potential problem is that the child will talk about a parent’s new partner with the other parent, who in turn will become visibly angry and/or jealous.
It's healthy for your child to know that you are dating.
If we focus on our children’s needs following a separation or divorce, we will hopefully slow down and keep our perspective as new relationships bloom.
Children learn about the adult world by watching their parents.
At no time should your child feel that there is something “wrong” about dating that you need to hide.
Children, even long after a divorce, often still harbor the hope that their mom and dad will get back together.
Seeing a parent with a new partner destroys this fantasy.